One of the hardest things to do in sales is to walk away from an opportunity, even when it’s business that’s just not going to close. When your funnel is in danger of drying up, it can be hard to resist any opportunity that comes your way.
Your energy and resources are not unlimited, so focus on where you have a fact-based reason to believe there will be success. Here are a few of many situations where it’s best for you and the prospect to part ways.
1. There are Glass Walls: Penetrating an account where your competition is deeply entrenched can be tough. Some companies invite you to bid as a matter of compliance, when in reality they have a preferred provider who already has won the business. Go head-to-head with an established vendor if there’s a potential for good return. Otherwise, your next best alternative is to keep a presence in the account as a potential second option, rather than to pour endless resources into an attempt to take the business away from a deeply-rooted rival.
2. The prospect does not fit your Ideal Customer Profile: Think of your gallery of regrettable sales – those you wish you hadn’t closed in the first place. Selling to everyone just to boost numbers is bound to create a few bad matches at some point. Create your Ideal Customer Profile by analyzing the characteristics common to your past and current best customers. Judging your prospects against an Ideal Customer Profile will keep those undesirable sales to a minimum.
3. Trying to fit a square peg into a round hole: At the heart of every honest and successful sale is a real fit between what your customers need and what you have to offer. Sure, you can still sell a product or service when it does not solve your customer’s real requirement. But, wherever repeat business is important, playing the I-Win-You Lose scenario hurts your credibility and can be disastrous to your organization down the line.
We’re not saying you should just walk away at the first sign of trouble. It’s important to remain optimistic and aware of the realities of each opportunity but it’s even more important to let go when you hit a dead-end.
– Credits to Miller Heiman